CLA supplements: Can you lose fat by eating more fat? - KMSP-TV

CLA supplements: Can you lose fat by eating more fat?

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

You've likely seen or heard about claims of a super belly fat buster in one pill, but are they too good to be true? 

The claim is that you can fight fat with good fat.  It's called conjugated linoleic acid and you can find it in certain red meat and dairy products, as well as in pill form.

It might sound too good to be true, but Dina Six says CLA helped her burn off several inches off her biggest problem area.

Dina says she dropped to a size two from a size six in one year and believes she couldn't have done it without the help of what has been hailed by some as a super belly-fat buster: conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA.

Recently, Dr. Oz touted CLA as an effective weapon when it comes to the battle of the bulge.

"Fat is good," Dr. Oz said on a recent show. " That's right. There's a new good fat that you're probably not getting."

That good fat, or CLA, can be found in our diet; mostly in grass fed beef and organic dairy products. It can also be taken as a supplement. 

"Turns out that CLA are like little gloves that go into your fat cells," Dr. Oz said, explaining it to audiences. "They go into cells and disrupt the triglicerides that are in there."

"CLA helps release fat from your cells, burn fat more effectively," a CLA dietitian explains. "The good news is unlike other fad products, there is some substantial evidence it can have positive effect on weight loss."

The bad news? Jean Alves, a nutritionist at Rush Medical Center, says that studies have shown the effects to be minimal at best.

"Here we have a pound of fat which is not insignificant, but with CLA, this will come off in 2-3 months rather than weeks or days," Alvez explains.

She adds, "studies have shown only overweight obese people have seen these positive effects."

At Lifespring Health Foods in Lakeview, Lee Crost says his customers have reported the best results by combining the supplements with a healthy diet and consistent exercise.

"They might not lose weight so much as to see body shape changing because you increase the proportion of lean body mass," Crost says.

CLA has also been linked to help in the fight against cancer and heart disease. Alves believes that compared to all the other weight loss supplements on the market, CLA is among the best and safest, but she emphasizes, there is no silver bullet for weight loss.

"I really truly believe that most people could achieve weight loss through diet and exercise alone," Alvez says.

Dina however, says that hasn't been enough for her. She's gained most of the weight back since she stopped taking the supplements and she's ready to slim down again with the help of CLA.

"I haven't lost that weight since I went off it again, so  I think recommend to myself now that we are having this conversation," she says.

Jean Alves says there is no such this as spot reduction and you can't choose an area where you'd like to lose weight.  She says abdominal fat is usually the first to go, so the belly area is actually the easiest place to lose fat. 

 If you want to try CLA supplements she says to combine them with exercise and healthy eating habits. The side effects of the CLA supplements could include gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting and diarrhea.


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